Edinburg officers should prepare to adopt the basic tenets of state and federal law enforcement agencies, according to the new chief of police who begins his tenure here in the next few weeks.
Having police officers trained to do “the right thing all the time”, is the priority for incoming chief, Lt. Rolando Castaneda, who will bring more than 30 years of experience as a DPS trooper and Texas Ranger, to the position vacated by former chief Quirino Munoz, who retired on Oct. 15, 2010.
Castaneda, who begins his tenure as chief of Edinburg Police on May 2 said his first order of business will be to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of the department, as well visit with key personnel and find out what their needs are.
Castaneda said he will emphasize integrity within the force, and that his
philosophy to the job is, and always has been to 'work for the people'.
“Law enforcement, no matter if you’re a Ranger or Edinburg Police officer, we’re public servants. We’re here to serve the people,” Castenda told the Edinburg Review in a private meeting earlier this month. “I instill in my guys that, regardless of the circumstances, for example the victims of violent crime, we work for the victims because they want to know the answers. They want to know what happened to their loved ones.
“My philosophy is ‘we work for the people’, and in my case as chief of Edinburg police, that would be for the citizens of Edinburg,” Castaneda said.
Born in Laredo, Castenda grew up in Corpus Christi, and graduated from Tuloso-Midway High School. Following school, he served in the Marine Corps as a certified military police officer and intelligence analyst from 1974 to 1976.
He began his career in 1978 assigned to the Texas Highway Patrol first in Rio Grande City, then in Bishop as a DPS Trooper.
In May of 1981 he served as a state trooper in Port Isabel until 1992, when he was then promoted to the DPS Specialized Narcotics Service Unit as a Sergeant and investigator. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from what was then called Pan American University-Brownsville in 1984.
He became a Sergeant with the Texas Rangers Division in 1995, and was promoted to Lieutenant in 2008.
Castaneda is highly trained in traffic law, criminal law, management, computer crimes, crime scene search, evidence collection, interview and interrogation techniques, homicide and SWAT training.
He holds a Master Peace Officer’s License, is a firearms and classroom instructor, and a lead hostage negotiator from his time in the Rangers.
“We stress in DPS and the Rangers, and I want to stress integrity, making sure we do the right thing all the time, even when people aren’t looking,” Castaneda said. “We want to work on our candor, and making sure the truth is always done and always spoken of. I don’t think Edinburg has that problem, but I want to emphasize that as a public servant,integrity is the most important aspect of a police officer, doing the right thing all the time.”